Sunday, March 27, 2011

Here in Goa

Here in Goa,
I am seeing euphoria flying.
People carefree.
Sand particles are small, they fly
Everywhere they come in, gather, they appear, exist.
Particles – every molecule for itself, gigantic things misplaced.
Among talks and flashing bodies, and shiny shins and
Boots – soft plastic slippers, water from the sea
(La mer) on the coast, in the boats. All places, nooks – these split, gather, regather, coagulate and return everywhere they have been before on certain trips from the beach to the country house to blue fishing net, among high palm trees.

So, people find particles of sand in their ears in bed at night.

Makes them forgo the daily little ponder I guess.
Free-flowing – they take up life as a growth – as spontaneous – when linear paths intersect, the roads remain straight – and white metal unstopped.

And on the beaches, the smell of the water blends into your persona – back home inland it retains the bad taste – comes to the fore. Even stale beer smells of fish, at the mouth, at the eye, also winking.

So, shiny bodies intersect in market-place, descending slopes, downwards the midsections loosening, and the feet bouncing – yellow flowing shirt on stomach sweat – and blonde hair let abundant, jeans not there.

And then at night, white metal meets the road, the sand particles are intervening again. Friends lose contact, tired of wandering from one exposition to another spectacle.

We are tourists. Even me – I am a tourist. I have eyes for this place – also graciously I feel its pulse – its life. I dig holes in sand on the beach – hoping to carry collected water – also I smell the special things in the crevices – also I give more money and more than money – Alas! No, I remain a visitor. I somehow miss the soul. The dirt gets in the eyes – I rue the ocean salt – I am wounded – still I miss the soul. Does this air have a soul?

Does it breathe?

Passion drives many things. And earthly passion more. But poetry misses passion – why is there no soul?

Does soul lack grace? Does soul speak through the sand particles? These particles…

The high points are odd. Chapora Fort is no good – just as it functions as memory – sunny highness – no more.

But it remains a touristy flash. No soul. What Goan carries his kids to school? Why is there fish curry?

The people recede. To the service of their tourists. They keep the soul inside – and let the market glow with the transcendent promise. Go Goa! And more trainfuls arrive, and are going to leave – replaced by replacements – properly fit with attentive eyes. Shift gear, let loose – party hardest, cool ocean, hot brown skin – night of spirits and fun. But life is dead – only food remains. And reproduction – of a promise of life.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

After that Portrait

Lying awake on his back, with the violet strained cloth draped across the side window. The moon has set now. Old cobwebs and little movement, no transformation. Old music filtering through the air, also emanating beneath his ears. Remembrances of a stage play, with actors bowing after their performance, and smiling. His eyes, they were resting after a hard day at work. In the dark cold air, it was a warm feeling. Dropping, dropping, sliding…

And turn the corner, fast! Maybe he is following. No! And the fat biology teacher is sleeping in her chair, her hair in a bum, with her hands resting on her lap, catching sweet music from the air. Walk past, ask for excuse. Also, welcoming me beyond the gallery is her majesty the principal, and passing her I pass into the room. The empty room, full of old promise and love…

I need not look back now to check if somebody is following. Nobody is and nobody can be, this is paradise. I look upon the windows in this room, they are golden. A lot of them are open, and the floor is empty and shining with the sunlight, swinging. Carry my gaze across, and I find that familiar short dark Indian woman. And she has grace, and smiles a lot. She was musically learned and haughty and told me to behave. I stop running.

“Say please. Say.”

Huh? Me? I am ignorant, sorry. But thank you, I will try.

“I have two beautiful children – look at them. Look, they dance, and I have made silk frocks for them. And see how they smile. Say, are they not beautiful?”


The children come up to me, and I bend down, and there is grace. I touch their lips, and finger their hair. They touch my skin, they like me! Just two minutes ago they saw me, and they like me! Happily, I look up at her.

And then the music is dimmed. The light changes colour. The fair children are still dancing.